Monday 17 May 2021

Despite new laws, the Netherlands remains near top of new tax haven ranking

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The Netherlands remains an important location for tax evasion, with only the British Virgin islands, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda playing a greater role helping multinational corporations pay less tax than they are expected to, according to a new ranking by international ngo Tax Justice Network.

‘A club of rich countries determining global rules on corporate tax are responsible for over two-thirds of global corporate tax abuse,’ the organisation says.

The researchers base their ratings on a study of Dutch tax rules last year and on the billions of euros which were pushed through the Netherlands by international companies in 2019. This combination resulted in the Netherlands being placed fourth on the NGO’s list.

In particular, gaps in Dutch legislation which allowed interest, royalties and dividends to be transferred elsewhere, and the way multinationals can offset losses booked in another jurisdiction, are behind the Netherlands high position on the list.

A finance ministry spokesman, however, said that the outgoing cabinet has made major advances in eliminating tax evasion, and pointed to new rules covering interest and royalties and more changes that are being made in 2024.

Arnold Merkies, director of the Dutch arm of the Tax Justice Network, told broadcaster NOS that despite the advances, the new leglisation remains full of loopholes.

The Netherlands was also in fourth place in the ranking when it was first published in 2019.

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